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- Monitoring the Civil Air Patrol Auxiliary Update 10 Sep 2016
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
DOD Wants To Upgrade Air Force One, 'Doomsday' Aircraft Communications Suites
James Drew on the InsideDefense.com website reported on January 9 that Pentagon comptroller Mike McCord has submitted a reprogramming request to Congress to modify and upgrade the communications equipment aboard Air Force One as well as the nuclear-hardened "Doomsday" aircraft.
Of the $79 million in requested funds transfers, an equal amount will come from several important programs, such as the B-52 digital communications upgrade, where the Air Force believes it has found funding that is "excess to need."
According to a reprogramming request signed Nov. 13, 2014, and published recently, the two VC-25A Air Force One aircraft would receive wireless Internet access through a $2 million modification and a further $37 million would install high-bandwidth commercial satellite communications (SATCOM) equipment.
The E-4B National Airborne Operations Center (NAOC) that is better known as the "Doomsday" aircraft for its specialized nuclear command-and-control mission would receive a super-high-frequency Ka and X-band capability -- at a cost of $40 million.
"This upgrade will ensure the continued connectivity and interoperability needed to keep pace with changes in the satellite and communications infrastructure," the document states.
The two VC-25As are assigned to Air Mobility Command's 89th Airlift Wing and are stationed at Andrews Air Force Base, MD.
Four E-4Bs are assigned to U.S. Strategic Command and are operated by Air Combat Command's 55th Wing from Offut Air Force Base, NB.
Both fleets support strategic national-level missions and are due for replacement over the next decade. The Air Force expects to issue a request for proposals for a new presidential aircraft some time this year.